WordPress is a popular content management system. Though many believe it to be simple blogging software, WordPress is much more than that. WordPress is a software that has incredibly vast libraries of free and premium themes and plug-ins that make it amazingly versatile and flexible.
WordPress isn’t just for personal websites and blogs, it is also used to create the websites of many well-known brands such as Best Buy and The New Yorker. If you have ever given any thought to building a website then you should make WordPress the top of your list in order to take advantage of their many features and benefits.
However, there is one major drawback to WordPress. It uses a large amount of memory. This on its own is not a big problem, nowhere near a deal-breaker for many. It should be said, however, that depending on your type of hosting and hosting provider, this drawback can translate to long website load times and big stretches of downtime.
This is especially common if you use shared hosting providers, which place your website on the same server with many others. This type of hosting is relatively cheap (sometimes costing only a few dollars a month) but it also means that if another website on the same server is attracting a lot of traffic then your website speed will be adversely affected. These problems may still persist even if you use a virtual private server (or VPS) or even a dedicated server.
The reason for this is that many hosting companies are simply not optimized for running WordPress. When it comes to other website builders and software, engineers have many ways to optimize servers in order to handle high traffic. However, because of the way WordPress websites are built, handled, and run, these methods won’t work with WordPress. This means that to truly optimize your website you either need to hire a professional or do it yourself. But there is another way.
In recent years many hosting providers have created specialized Managed WordPress Hosting. Hosting providers such as WPEngine, Page.ly, Kinsta, and HostGator offer WordPress specific optimization that allows your website to load quickly and efficiently.
Managed WordPress hosts optimize websites on the server end, thus freeing you from having to do your own optimization through WordPress’ suite of cache plug-ins. This highly optimized WordPress hosting providers are invaluable to websites belonging to business large and small and websites that experience heavy traffic.
Because these hosting providers manage the website for you, any update to the platform or its plugins are automatically installed without having to worry bout them. These hosting services also make sure to backup your website in case the unthinkable happens.
But what features should you look for when deciding what hosting provider to go with? The decision is based largely on your needs, but there are a few features that everyone should look out for. Firstly, you’ll want to make sure that a hosting provider gives you 24/7 customer support. Few things are as nerve-wracking as finding out your business website has crashed at two in the morning. Being able to call someone for help is an absolute necessity.
Also, check to make sure that your hosting provider allows you to use your website for emails. Having an email address tied to your website makes you seem more professional and savvy. Surprisingly, not many hosting providers do this, or if they do they provide only a bare bones system.
If you plan for your site to grow (and who doesn’t) you’ll also want to know whether your provider places caps on the amount of traffic and storage you have. For example, based on your plan WPEngine limits sites to 400,000 visitors and only 30 gigabytes of storage.
Finally, if you are selling products on your site, then SSL security is a must. It lets customers know that their personal and sensitive information is safe.
When choosing on what makes a great hosting provider you should always keep these features in mind. Many of them are invaluable no matter how big or how small the website.